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Child Language

Child Language
Acquisition and Development

© 2010 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here

Presented with the latest thinking and research on how children acquire their first language, the reader is taken from a standing start to the point where they can engage with key debates and current research in the field of child language. No background knowledge of linguistic theory is assumed and all specialist terms are introduced in clear, non-technical language. A theme running through the book is the nature-nurture debate, rekindled in the modern era by Noam Chomsky, with his belief that the child is born with a rich knowledge of language. This book is rare in its balanced presentation of evidence from both sides of the nature-nurture divide.

The reader is encouraged to adopt a critical stance throughout and weigh up the evidence for themselves. Key features for the student include: boxes and exercises to foster an understanding of key concepts in language and linguistics; a glossary of key terms; suggestions for further reading; a list of useful websites at the end of each chapter; discussion points for use in class; and separate author and subject indexes.

Landmarks in the Landscape of Child Language
Can Animals Acquire Human Language? Shakespeare's Typewriter
The Critical Period Hypothesis: Now or Never?
Input and Interaction: Tutorials for Toddlers
Language in the First Year: Breaking the Sound Barrier
The Developing Lexicon: What's in a Name?
The Acquisition of Morphology: Linguistic Lego
Linguistic Nativism: To the Grammar Born
The Usage-Based Approach: Making It up as You Go along
You Say Nature, I Say Nurture: Better Call the Calling off off

This book presents a clear, erudite, state-of-the art account of the complexities of child language. I highly recommend it to undergraduate, graduate students and researchers alike.

Carol Goldfus
Levinsky College of Education, Israel
Educational Review

A most useful addition to our reading list.

Miss Rebecca Tall
Faculty of Edu & Children's Services, Chester University
September 26, 2016

An interesting and very accessible text that will get both students and practitioners thinking and talking. Support throughout to understand the key concepts and lots of useful discussion points.

Ms Sarah Jane Cleak
College Rd, Truro College
March 14, 2016

Really comprehensive and accessible text for students studying the acquisition of language. Valuable for undergraduate and post graduate students.

Ms Caroline Brooks
Faculty of Development & Society, Sheffield Hallam University
March 1, 2016

This book is written in an accessible style which engages the reader. It covers all the key aspects of child language acquisition and includes some interesting research conducted by the author. An excellent text.

Mrs Mandy Pierlejewski
Higher Education Applied Social Sciences, Stockport College
May 21, 2015

A most helpful resource for our masters level cohort researching dyslexia and associated difficulties. A secure understanding of the development of child language is key to underpinning their learning.

Miss Rebecca Tall
Faculty of Edu & Children's Services, Chester University
March 30, 2015

This is an excellent, up-to-date introduction to the key issues in child language acquisition. I particularly valued the detailed critical evaluation of different theoretical approaches. My module is a general module on psycholinguistics, which is why this book would not work as the sole module textbook. But I will be strongly recommending it for the topics on child language acquisition.

Dr Anu Koskela
Department of English, De Montfort University
March 6, 2015

Great writing style and also accessible for advanced linguistics undergrads who nevertheless have no background in language acquisition. I have already had some unsolicited positive feedback after just a few weeks.

Dr David Medeiros
English Dept, University Of New Hampshire
September 18, 2014

Very accessible and up to date. A good introduction to research into language acquisition.

Dr Jenny Gibson
Rehabilitation Sciences, Univ. of East Anglia
April 28, 2014

This is a great book for those students at dissertation stage as has a great depth. Good signposting to further research also. Really good book!

Mrs Tanya Richardson
School of Education, Northampton University
January 3, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

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ISBN: 9781412902311